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James: A Social Justice Commentary on the Epistle of James

710 pages8 hours


The Epistle of James has often been described as a loose collection of "pearls on a string". A kind of New Testament Book of Proverbs. Jim Reiher shows us that there is much more to this rather small letter near the end of the New Testament. It does have wonderful truths sometimes captured briefly and memorably. But it is also a letter with a serious side. There was a problem that needed attention in the days it was written. Jewish Christians (the people James wrote to) were faced with a huge dilemma. There was much injustice and poverty and cruelty in the world. (Sounds like today!). There was corruption and violence and theft and murders. James the author was writing before the war with Rome that began in AD 66. In the late 40's and into the 50's there were the growing zealot movements, and much distress and uncertainty in Palestine. Jewish Christians were being tempted to resort to the ways of the world (violence and murder) in their response to injustice and poverty. James is horrified! He calls on his readers to stay faithful to "true religion" - to care for those in need, yes, but not to be polluted by the ways of the world at the same time! He calls on them to seek justice and to do good, but not to become like the world in that quest. Stay Christ-like and care for the poor and suffering with patience and peacemaking, as your traits. Jim Reiher unpacks this much loved letter and shows us the wonderful exhortations to remain like the one we say we follow.

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